How to Determine the Appropriate Size Chandelier
Chandeliers are available in various styles (including bohemia and modernistic), colors, forms and sizes. You can choose from bronze, metal, crystal, glass, ceramic, gold and more. Your first consideration, however, should be determining the appropriate sized lighting fixture to use.
There is an easy way to determine how tall your chandelier should be. A popular trick used by interior designers is to measure the height of the room and allow 2 1/2 to 3 inches for each foot of height. So, if your room has a 9-foot tall ceiling, you would want a lighting fixture that is about 22 1/2 to 27 inches tall. When you have extremely tall ceilings, you can add a couple of inches to the height of the chandelier. Consequently, if you have a very low ceiling, you'll need to get a fixture that's a couple of inches smaller.
The overall size of the room also has a big impact on the size of the lighting fixture. Choosing one that's too large can make the room look crowded, and one that's too small will come across as inconsequential. The chandelier needs to be proportionate to the room size. Size also depends on where the chandelier will hang.
The chandelier should hang approximately 30 inches from the table surface and should be about 12 inches narrower than the width of the table it's hanging over. When you put this type of light fixture over a small dining room table, hang it over the exact center of the table.
If you have a very long dining room table, choose two smaller chandeliers and center them over each end of the table. To do this, you'll first need to measure the length of the table. Write down the length and divide it by three. We can use a 9-foot long table for an easy example. It can be divided into three sections of 3 feet each. You'll start at one end of the table and measure 3 feet and then center one of the fixtures on the ceiling over that mark. Measure another 3 feet down the table and do the same thing with the second fixture. This will give your dining room a very pleasing look. Putting only one over an extremely long table can diminish its effect and cause the entire room to seem off kilter.
Choosing the right chandelier for rooms other than the dining room is tricky, as you don't have a table to help with measurements. You'll have to rely on room measurements alone to determine the proper size for the lighting fixture.
A simple way to determine what size you need is to measure the length and width of the room and add those measurements together. You'll then need to convert that total amount to inches. The resulting figure is the size of the chandelier you should purchase. For example, if your room is 10 feet by 7 feet, you would add that together to get 17 feet. You would convert this to inches and purchase a fixture that is 17 inches in diameter.
The chandelier should be centered in the room and be at least 7 feet from the floor. This will keep you and any of your guests from banging into it.
If you feel overwhelmed or just don't want to be bothered by figuring all of this out, you can bring in a lighting designer. They have all of the necessary knowledge to determine the appropriate size and can help you choose a style and color that suits both you and the other décor in your home. When you put a chandelier in a room that doesn't already have a ceiling light fixture, you'll need to bring in an electrician to make sure that the wiring is properly done.
Written By: Julia Ritzenthaler